Kenny says Greek bailout talks were ‘bruising’

Taoiseach welcomes agreement but Adams says Government sided with the strong

Taoiseach Enda Kenny leaves at the end of Monday’s  EU summit on the Greek debt crisis.  Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach Enda Kenny leaves at the end of Monday’s EU summit on the Greek debt crisis. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

 

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described negotiations leading to the Greek government’s deal with its creditors as “bruising” but he welcomed the breakthrough that laid the basis for an agreement.

Mr Kenny said the text now had to go to various national parliaments, including the Greek parliament.

“This has been a pretty bruising experience over the last period, but what it has allowed for is the basis for a third agreement for Greece which will allow for the Greek economy to thrive and prosper and continue to remain a member of the euro zone.”

Mr Kenny said Greece was in “a very challenging position”, but Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said he was “up for” the challenge. “It is hoped that this now can go through the Greek parliament with assistance from all sides,” he said.

Criticised

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin criticised “Syriza sympathisers” in Ireland after euro zone leaders struck a deal with Greece. Mr Martin rounded on Sinn Féin and left-wing TDs who have backed the Greek governing party’s approach.

“Even as news of the scale of this third bailout begins to sink in, there continue to be those in Ireland who champion the approach taken by Syriza and recommend its repetition here and elsewhere,” he said.

“This is dishonest politics and insults the intelligence of the Irish people. The Greek economy is close to total collapse, the banks are closed and it is the Greek people who are bearing the brunt of this failure of politics.

“Meanwhile, we have people in positions of political responsibility in this country praising the ideology.”

 

‘Side of the strong’

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams accused the Government of taking the “side of the strong” against Greece in negotiations. Speaking after news of a deal at European level broke, Mr Adams said: “The conduct of a number of EU governments over the past number of weeks has been alarming.

“They have effectively closed down the Greek banking system and held the Greek government and people to ransom.

“To its shame the Irish Government took the side of the strong against those in need of support and solidarity.”

Mr Adams said it was “obscene” for Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil to “lecture” the Greek people while generations of Irish people will be paying off debts that were not of their making.

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton expressed relief that euro zone leaders had managed to strike a deal, and she attacked Sinn Féin’s stance on the crisis. She said Ireland and the “European social democratic movement” had been extremely supportive of Greece.